[The following is a guest post from Marie at Family Money Values – who wants to help families understand the potential consequences of wealth. She encourages visitors to take the long view and pull all family generations together to nourish the family legacy and wealth]
Giving of ourselves seems to be an innate characteristic of the human race. Most religions and cultures encourage the act of giving. We are also taught that it is an integral part of personal finance – saving, spending, giving are embodied in the 3 jars often advocated as a learning tool to manage money.
People seem to receive a personal blessing when they give. I believe that the blessing received is different for each of us. I believe that giving of ourselves is a way of achieving a degree of immortality through our legacy. It makes us feel good, and supports the community of mankind. Some people feel they don’t have enough money or time to give, but I believe that each of us have a unique and very personal wish list of giving.
What Do You Want To Accomplish By Giving?
See the joy of being helped in the eye of another individual?
Giving doesn’t always mean providing funds or spending a lot of time. One of the best gifts I ever received was a cup of hot tea with lemon and sugar on a cold winter day almost 45 years ago. I was sick, overwhelmed by new responsibilities and feeling very much alone when a comparative stranger took me in hand, walked me to the student commons, bought me a cup of tea and sat with me while I sipped it. I no longer felt alone.
Do you prefer seeing first hand the effects of your gift? How do you accomplish that?
Advance the research and application of techniques for a certain branch of knowledge?
Donating money, dedicating your life and career, or providing volunteer efforts in support of the advancement of human knowledge are popular causes. Efforts to cure diseases, get to Mars, develop never before seen technology products are all endeavors which take the efforts of many working together to achieve success.
With what quest for human knowledge do you wish to be involved?
Encourage certain behaviors by individuals or societies?
Giving doesn’t always mean providing funds or time – sometimes it is the absence of both. One of the best gifts I gave was staying away and not providing funds so that another person learned to stand on their own – developing self confidence and pride in their accomplishments.
Giving your efforts to set up laws to protect the environment; or to encourage an entrepreneur to develop a product that makes it easier for people to get along with each other are perhaps more indirect forms of giving, but very important ones.
How are you trying to influence the direction of human society? Is that on your giving wish list?
Teach another person the joys of giving?
Whether you are taking your child with you to the local food pantry to stock shelves together or you are putting them on the board of the family’s foundation to direct funds to charities, opportunities abound to involve your child and teach them why and how to give.
How do you teach your child to give? Does your giving wish list include teaching those outside your family the benefits of giving?
Build strong bonds in your family or group by participating together in giving?
“Give and it will be given to you” (Luke 6:38). Dad died of cancer. Mom was lonely for months. Eventually she joined a group at church that made bandages for cancer patients. She honored Dad’s memory, helped cancer patients and received camaraderie from the group.
Does your family or extended family participate in the same charitable activities? What are they?
Memorialize a loved one?
Giving in the name of another person encompasses monetary gifts at a funeral to building park benches, stadiums and bridges and putting a loved one’s name on them.
Our town has a park along the river. It is popular with hikers, bikers, runners and mediators. The river path is lined with park benches donated and placarded with names of the folks being memorialized.
Would you want to be memorialized in some fashion?
photo by Happy Kanppy
If you had all the time and all the money needed to do anything– what would your giving list include?
For more information on giving, check out FamilyMoneyValues.com – click on give on the side menu.
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